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Miriam Hopkins Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (4) | Trivia (8) | Personal Quotes (6) | Salary (1)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 18 October 1902Savannah, Georgia, USA
Date of Death 9 October 1972New York City, New York, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NameEllen Miriam Hopkins
Nickname Mims
Height 5' 2" (1.57 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Born into wealth in Savannah,Georgia on October 18, 1902, Ellen Miriam Hopkins was able to attend the finest educational institutions including Goddard Seminary in Plainfield, Vermont and Syracuse University in New York State. Studying dance in New York , she received her first taste of show business as a chorus girl at twenty. She appeared in local musicals before she began expanding her horizons by trying out dramatic roles four years later. By 1928, Miriam was appearing in stock companies on the East Coast and her reviews were getting better after having been vilified earlier in her career. In 1930, Miriam decided to try the silver screen and signed with Paramount Studios. Since she was already established on Broadway, Paramount felt they were getting a seasoned performer after the rave reviews she had received on Broadway. Her first role was in Fast and Loose (1930). The role, where Miriam played a rebellious girl, was a good start. After appearing in 24 Hours (1931), where she is killed by her husband, Miriam played Princess Anna in The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) opposite Maurice Chevalier. Still considered a newcomer, Miriam displayed a talent that had all the earmarks of stardom. She was to finish out the year by playing Ivy Pearson in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931). Miriam began filming World and the Flesh (1932) which was not a box-office blockbuster. Later, she appeared in Dancers in the Dark (1932) with George Raft. The film was unexpectedly strong and enjoyable which served as a catalyst to propel Miriam and Raft to bigger stardom. In Two Kinds of Women (1932) directed by William C. de Mille, Miriam once again performed magnificently. Later that year she played Lily Vautier in the sophisticated comedy Trouble in Paradise (1932). A film that should have been nominated for an Academy Award, it has lasted through the years as a masterpiece in comedy - even today, film buffs and historians rave about it. Miriam's brilliant performance in Design for Living (1933) propelled her to the top of Paramount's salary scale. Later that year, Miriam played the title role in The Story of Temple Drake (1933). Paramount was forced to tone down the film's violence and character being raped to pass they Hayes Office code. Despite being watered down, it was still a box-office smash. In 1934, Miriam filmed All of Me (1934) which was less than well-received. Soon, the country was abuzz as to who would play Scarlett O'Hara in Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind (1939). Miriam wanted the coveted spot especially since she was a Southern lady and Georgia native. Unfortunately, as we all know, she didn't win the role. As a matter of fact, her only movie role that year was in The Old Maid (1939). By this time, the roles were only trickling in for her. With the slowdown in film work, Miriam found herself returning to the stage. She made two films in 1940, none in 1941, and one in 1942 and 1943, respectively. The stage was her work now. However in 1949, she received the role of Lavinia Penniman in The Heiress (1949). Miriam made only three films in the 1950's, but she had begun making appearances on television programs. Miriam made her final big screen appearance in Savage Intruder (1970). Nine days before her 70th birthday, on October 9, 1972, Miriam died of a heart attack in New York City.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Denny Jackson

Born in Savannah, Georgia and brought up in nearby Bainbridge, Miriam Hopkins spent most of her formative years with her maternal grandmother. She received her secondary education in Barre, Vermont and then Syracuse University. Upon graduation, she went to New York to become a ballet dancer, but instead gravitated towards Broadway revues and vaudeville instead. After ten years on the stage as a successful actress, she joined Paramount in 1930 and became one of Hollywood's top-ranking stars. She returned to the stage as her movie career slowed in the forties. During the fifties she added television to her repertoire, guesting on dramatic series, including "The Outer Limits". She died in 1972.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Herman Seifer <alagain@aol.com>

Spouse (4)

Raymond B. Brock (23 October 1945 - 1951) (divorced)
Anatole Litvak (4 September 1937 - 11 October 1939) (divorced)
Austin Parker (1931 - 1932) (divorced)
Brandon Peters (11 May 1926 - 1931) (divorced)

Trivia (8)

Was good friends with actress Kay Francis.
Is portrayed by Sheilah Wells in The Scarlett O'Hara War (1980)
In 1932, at a time when single-parent adoption was illegal in most states, she adopted a baby boy while between marriages. She adored her son, Michael, and always called him the most important man in her life.
Turned down the part of Ellie Andrews in It Happened One Night (1934). Claudette Colbert was then given the role and won a Best Actress Oscar for her performance.
She was Margaret Mitchell's first choice to play Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939).
In July, 1972, despite concerns about her health and a premonition that she shouldn't travel, she flew to New York to attend the special screening of "Story of Temple Drake," celebrating the 60th anniversary of Paramount Pictures, followed by a gala party in her honor at the Museum of Modern Art. Just as she had feared, she suffered a major heart attack and died in her hotel suite before getting back to her California home.
She was a lifelong progressive Democrat who strongly supported the presidencies of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Lyndon Johnson. In the 1930s and '40s she served as the second vice president of the Hollywood Democratic Committee.
She is buried at Oak City Cemetary in Bainbridge, Georgia, USA [May 2011]

Personal Quotes (6)

I'm a bad judge of a play or film. I turned down It Happened One Night (1934). It won Claudette Colbert an Oscar. I said it was just a silly comedy.
How can a motion picture reflect real life when it is made by people who are living artificial lives?
[on being directed in 'Virginia City' by Michael Curtiz] (He was) a complete madman - mad and adorable. Foe twelve weeks he yelled at me and I yelled back at him. We're exactly alike.
TV is the toughest medium because there's more strain, but the theatre requires the most work. Movies are the easiest. You can sip coffee between takes.
Me temperamental? I never was. Proof of that is that I made four pictures with Willie Wyler, who is a very demanding director. I made two with Rouben Mamoulian who is the same. Two with Ernst Lubitsch, such a dear man.
I will never retire. Put that down and underline it. The world is too nice - and so have been all the breaks.

Salary (1)

The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) $1,500 /week

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